1776 3’x5’ American flags will blanket the entire park’s field honoring and proudly recognizing those who are currently serving in the military, those who have served, and those who paid the ultimate price, by giving their lives in service to our country. CFO will be raising money for local Veterans and active duty military & their families through sponsorships and sales of individual flags for $35. Each flag that is sponsored will have a tribute card attached that includes the serviceman/woman’s military information and any medals earned, some including valiant stories that were shared.
Susie Cunningham, CFO’s Executive Director has seen every single tribute come in and cannot help but be touched. "We are so overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for this event, not only by those who are submitting tributes to our military personnel, but by the number of volunteers willing to make the event a success. Every day we get calls from veterans, or family members, asking how they can help, whether it's to help set up the flags, or provide overnight security. We have had amazing support from The Home Depot-East Orange, who stepped up in a big way with their associates volunteering. We have been planning this event for the greater part of a year, and as we get closer, it has even more meaning. I am humbled by each tribute that is submitted, and have an even greater appreciation for the sacrifices made by those who have worked to protect our freedom."
Over 50 volunteers will come together on the morning of November 7th to precisely mark the field and then begin driving rebar into the ground, placing the flags onto the posts and tying the tribute cards onto the flags with ribbon –red, whit and blue for those who are currently serving; yellow for those who have served; purple for those who have earned the Purple Heart Medal; blue for those who have earned the Medal of Honor; and black for those who sacrificed their lives in service to our country. The Field of Valor will be open to the public from 9:00 am – 9:00 pm Sunday, November 8th through Wednesday, November 11th. Opening Ceremonies will take place at 11:00 am on Sunday and there will be a brief flag-lowering ceremony each evening at 4:45 pm. Local photographer, Jon Haverstick will be on-site Sunday from 12:00 – 3:00 pm taking photographs of Veterans and active duty military personnel for his Faces of Freedom Project. Each serviceman/woman photographed will receive a free copy of their portrait. A “Visit with a Vet” area will be established for Veterans to gather each day to see old friends, chat amongst themselves and where those in attendance can chat with them to hear their stories, or to simply thank them for their sacrifices that were made on our behalf.
CFO President and Field of Valor Committee Chairman Gary Remland cannot wait to see everything come together at Handy Park. “The timing of this event is critical in that it’s Veteran’s Day on the 11th. Many in this community and in this country, are of the same belief that we need to recognize and thank those who have served and are presently serving in our armed forces for our freedom. Many have paid the ultimate price for our freedom—we cannot, and we will not forget them. I would ask you to come and see this beautiful tribute to their bravery and sacrifice. This event is pulling our community together to honor and celebrate all that is great about America. Please come and be a part of it, and let’s honor our Veterans by giving generously to those who support and take care of them.”
Major sponsors Catherine Sorensen, Ashley Furniture Home Stores, Farmers & Merchants Bank, Remland Insurance, Milan Capital Management, Orange Elks Lodge #1475, The New Home Company, The RJ Noble Company, and Selman Chevrolet join the previously mentioned Home Depot in helping the Community Foundation of Orange make this Inaugural Field of Valor one the committee believes will be a pride-filled, patriotic event that will continue for years to come.
Individual 3’x5’ flags (made in the U.S.A.) are $35; they can be purchased and tributes completed online - Click HERE - or at the event.
Handy Park is located at 2143 E. Oakmont Ave in Orange and can be reached from the Chapman Avenue or Katella Avenue exits off the 55 Freeway. Giant red, white and blue balloons will soar in the sky giving visual aid for those coming to the Field of Valor.
Those interested in becoming involved with the Field of Valor by becoming a sponsor or volunteer can contact Susie Cunningham, CFO Executive Director via email: firstname.lastname@example.org